Sunday, February 17, 2019

Cedar Sink, February Snow

On the north rim looking into the north sinkhole.

It's always fun to take a walk in the snow, especially in a landscape
like Cedar Sink in the southwest part of Mammoth Cave Park.
Map of Mammoth Cave Park

This is a short post showing you what Cedar Sink looks like 
covered in snow.  Before you look at this post, though, I think you
should see Cedar Sink in a different season just to see the contrast
in landscape; it's dramatic...just click the website, below.
Cedar Sink in July

From the parking lot it's a gradual descent through a deciduous
forest biome but mostly mostly Red Cedar trees, 
thus the name Cedar Sink.  
Click here for Information about Red Cedars

At this time of the year you will notice the Beech trees
with their tan leaves, which are dead but remain on the trees until
Spring.  They're very conspicuous and add to the beauty 
of the Winter landscape.  

Information on Beech trees

Eventually you'll come to the west rim of Cedar Sink.
This is a gigantic sinkhole that is the result of the top of a cave
collapsing.  Imagine what happened at the Corvette plant,
swallowing up many cars and multiply that
times a thousand.  It's hard to imagine!

The view from the west-side stairs.

Looking toward the south rim.  This view gives you an idea of
how massive this sinkhole is.  During other seasons the view is
obscured by leaves.

The view from the floor of the sinkhole, looking north.

The platform overlooking the exposed segment of a subterranean
river...see the next photo.
This is the part of the subterranean river that has been exposed
because of the roof of the cave collapsing.  Remember, where
you're standing used to be in a cave.  The water moves from the
top of the photo (the spring) to the bottom right, where it
goes back underground.  

Looking back at the west-side staircase.
You can see the NW rim of the sink in the background.

A view of the south rim of the sink.  You can see the south-side
overlook (wooden platform) at the top-right part of the photo.

Looking at the SE rim.

Looking south.

The NE section of the sink.

I'm very conscious of the fact that giant boulders can fall
at any time!

Looking at the south rim of the sink.  You can see the wooden
overlook at the top of the photo.  From there you can look down
at the exposed subterranean river.

A view of the south-side staircase.

Looking at the SE rim (in the background) from the staircase.

The remaining photos are views from various rims 
of the sink looking into the sinkhole.
Looking south from the SE rim of the sink.

Looking at the east part of the sink.

A patch of green!  Moss and Walking Ferns.
Information on Walking Ferns

View from the east rim.

Jelly Fungus reproducing, 
and lichen on the bottom of the stick.
Info on Lichens

The view from the east rim.

Some evergreen ferns (Ebony Spleenwort) surviving the cold.
Info on Ebony Spleenwort

More evergreen ferns and moss.  
This species is called Resurrection Fern or Little Polypody.
A look at the underside of the frond assures the ID.  No other
species has a frond whose underside looks like this (speckles).

Information on this species

A view from the NE rim.

Moss and a fern called Purple Cliffbrake.
Information on Cliffbrakes

A view from the north rim.

The NW rim of the sink.  The west-side staircase is at the
top of the photo (hidden from view).

From here I got back on the trail and headed back to the car.
What a fantastic walk!  If you're at Mammoth Cave, stop here
and see what a karst landscape looks like!

Some of the most beautiful wildflowers are right here
 in April at Cedar Sink!  Click the site, below, to see them.

Get out and explore your natural world...
during all seasons!!  It's essential!!!